Hello Everybody, Thank you for the continued support. I am sorry for the slow updates but I have been very busy with school and such but I will try and update sooner. Thanks again and hopefully you like this chapter. :)

Chapter 21: Close

It was Saturday and everybody was getting ready for the party at Ryu's new house. Kokoro was at her shop finishing up the cake and packing it up to deliver to the house. She placed the last butterfly on the cake and closed up the box and put it in her work SUV. She left the shop to the girls working there and hopped in her car to deliver the cake. Turning on the car she got ready to hit on the gas when she noticed a white piece of paper on her passenger seat. It read,

"You and Teddy will never work"

"How pathetic" Kokoro said out loud before she threw the paper on the floor and drove away.

She arrived at the new penthouse of Ryu and Kate, 20 minutes later and was helped by the concierge with the cake. She rolled it into the elevator and 15 floors later she was in front of a huge modern door. Her doorbell was answered by what looked like a maid with a warm smile.

"Hi, I'm Kokoro" she introduced herself.

"Hello Kokoro, I am Marie" she said shaking her hand.

"Well it's very nice to meet you, I am just here to deliver the cake for the party tonight" Kokoro said.

"Oh yes, please come in" Marie said.

"Marie, who is at the door" Ryu asked from the top of the stairs, "Oh hello Kokoro" Ryu said when he saw Kokoro.

"Hey, I was just dropping of the cake, sorry to interrupt your decorating and such" she said quickly.

"Oh no interruption" he said.

"Okay, where do you want me to set it up?" she asked.

"Miss Kate told me to put it over here" Marie said walking over to a lavishly decorated table.

"Alright, I will just set this up and leave" Kokoro said.

"No need to hurry, take your time" Ryu said.

"Thanks" she said not looking at him, rolling over the cake.

She picked up the cake with the help of Marie and placed it on the table. Marie went to the kitchen and continued her work. Kokoro rotated the cake around and brushed it around so that it was neat. She placed some flowers around it that were already on the table but stopped her work when she heard Ryu ask her,

"How is she?"

Kokoro sighed and turned around to answer him.

"Look, I don't really know how to put this but, seeing you tonight is going to take all the energy she has and the only reason she is even coming is because she has something to prove to herself. All you have done is hurt her and it's her that is keeping me from flipping out on you" she said firmly, "Don't make it any harder".

"No I understand, you are completely right. She has every right to be mad at me but I wish there was a way for me to tell her that I …" Ryu did not finish his sentence.

"Tell her what?" she asked as she packed up the box that the cake was previously in.

Ryu was about to speak but he cleared his throat noticing Kate coming down the stairs.

"Oh my God Kokoro, you have outdone yourself. This cake is precious!" Kate said loudly.

"It's no problem, I hope you enjoy it. I really must get going now" Kokoro said smiling.

"Well I hope to see you tonight, right?" Kate asked.

"Of course" Kokoro said rolling out the empty box.

"Bye now" Kate said before Marie closed the door after Kokoro.


Kokoro made her way back to the apartment at the end of her day to get ready for the party.

"Hello?" she called out when she went into the apartment.

"Hey, in the kitchen" Helena said, "How was work?" she asked when Kokoro came into the kitchen.

"Ehh, it was alright. I delivered the cake and Ryu was asking me about Kasumi but then Kate came in. The usual, where is everybody?" she asked.

"Hitomi is spending the day and night with Hayate so she will not be coming to the dinner tonight" Helena said sipping on her white wine.

"Oh is she now" Kokoro said pouring herself a glass of wine.

"Yep, they have been spending a lot of time together so hopefully he is being good to her and does not randomly do something bad like before" Helena said.

"Yeah, speaking of bad" Kokoro said throwing a note on the counter, "I found this in my car earlier in the morning".

"You and Teddy will never work out" Helena red out loud, "Wow, she does not stop does she".

"Apparently not but I don't really care, she is threatening me with something that does not exist" Kokoro said.

"Which is?"

"Which is a relationship between Teddy and me" Kokoro said.

"Have you guys spoken since that day in the hallway?" Helena asked.

"I mean we have had lunch and we have talked but not necessarily about what happen" Kokoro said finishing her wine and placing the glass in the sink.

"I see well don't wait too long, you see what is happening to Kasumi and Ryu" Helena said.

"I know" Kokoro said looking down, "By the way, how are we supposed to dress for this dinner?" Kokoro asked leaning on the door frame.

"I am not dressing super formally because it is supposed to be close friends and family. I am just wearing my green chiffon dress, the short one" Helena said.

"Oh okay, I have to go see what I am going to wear" Kokoro said.

"Okay" Kokoro heard Helena say as she went into her room.

Kokoro sifted through her closet and finally grabbed a above knee length red dress and rested it on her bed when she heard a knock on her door.

"Come in" she said.

"Hey" Kasumi said coming into the room.

"Oh hi, how are you? Where you at work?" Kokoro said noticing her outfit.

"Yeah, I could not stay here anymore, I needed to go back to work" Kasumi said sitting on her bed.

"I understand" Kokoro said, "So are you coming to the dinner?"

"Umm, I don't know but I think so" Kasumi said, "I might not stay the whole time but yeah"

"Okay sweetie well I am catching a ride with Teddy so you can ride in with Helena just so you have a car in case you want to leave".

"Okay that sounds good, I will let you get ready and go get ready myself" Kasumi said.

Kokoro sat at her jewelry armoire and started doing her makeup. She sighed thinking about what Helena said a few minutes ago when her phone rang. When she saw a number she did not recognize she decided to pick up thinking it was somebody from work.

"Hello" she said.

"Hey babe" Ken said on the other side.

"Ugh, how did you get this number?" she asked annoyed.

"Why such hostility?"

"Do you really want me to answer that?" she asked.

"Listen babe, I am sorry for the unfortunate couple of times we have met up again. What do you say to a proper date? Just you and me?"

"I say no, goodbye Ken" she said hanging up.

Kokoro looked at the time and saw she had only a few minutes left. For the past hour or so she had done her makeup and half curled her hair into long waves. Her red dress was on her small figure and she was sitting on her bed putting on her black heels. The doorbell rung and she heard Helena get the door.

"Hello beautiful" Kane said kissing her on the lips.

"Hi" she smiled after they parted.

Kokoro grabbed her clutch and went out to the common area.

"Hello Kokoro, you look great" Kane smiled.

"Thank you" she said, "How are you Kane?"

"I'm good but Teddy came by my practice this afternoon" Kane said.

"He did?" she asked.

"Yes, it was actually quite serious" Kane said.

Kokoro felt everything drop,

"Is he alright? What happened?" she said frantically thinking about the note in her car.

The doorbell rang and Kokoro ran to the door and when she saw Teddy she threw her arms around him and held him tight.

"Oh my God, are you alright?" Kokoro asked.

"Yeah I am fine, don't worry about me" he smiled and his pearly white teeth made Kokoro melt.

They went to the common area where Helena and Kane where standing with Kasumi having joined them a few seconds ago.

"Teddy, are you alright?" Helena asked.

"Yeah fine, earlier today we got call that there was a robbery downtown and so I went down there and some guy was robbing a restaurant on the Atlantic Ave and was actually holding Kate hostage. I guess she was there having lunch with a couple of her friends. Anyways we surrounded him and then I tacked him and in the tussle he fired his gun and it made contact with me. So they guy is in jail waiting for trial and I did not want to make a big deal out of my injury so I went to Kane and he fixed me up fine. It was just a flesh wound anyways" Teddy said.

"Well I am glad Kane was able to help you" Helena said leaning on Kane as his hand wrapped around her waist.

"Yeah well Kane and I go way back, we actually went to high school together" Teddy said.

"Oh wow, I did not know that" Kokoro said.

"Yes, we were pretty good friends and I knew Kane would always do something with his life and here he is a very young doctor and here I am working for the state" Teddy said laughing and everybody else laughed as well.

"Hey come on we both save lives every day" Kane said.

"Yeah okay boys stop showing of your guns" Helena said, "Let's go, we are going to be late".

"Yes let's go" Kasumi said.

Everybody left the apartment and Kokoro was left with Teddy.

"Let me just grab my phone" Kokoro said.

She took her phone from her room and closed her door behind her.

"Can you help me with this tie?" Teddy asked.

"Yeah" she said placing her clutch on the counter. She fixed his tie and looked at him.

"Are you sure you are alright?" she asked.

"Yeah don't worry about me" he smiled and took her hand as she grabbed her clutch and left the apartment.

Kasumi breathed in and out as she approached the huge doors to the apartment. Helena knocked on the door and it was answered by the warm smile of Marie.

"Hello, please come in" Marie said.

"Thank you" Helena said stepping inside.

"Helena, Kasumi" Kate said coming down the grand stairs.

"Hi" Helena said and Kasumi forced a smile.

"You girls look great and you two Kane" Kate said smiling and meeting them at the bottom of the stairs.

"Thank you, you look great yourself" Kane said.

"Please come into the dining room" Kate said.

Kasumi looked around and noticed the extravagance she had expected. The high ceilings matched the grand staircase and the long grand dining room table. There were decorations everywhere and she noticed the beautiful cake Kokoro had made for them. The people at the table however where a surprise. When everybody was gathered there Kate stood up and addressed everybody.

"Hello friends and family, I just wanted to say a couple of words before we begin dinner. First of all thank you so much for joining us here tonight, it means a lot to Ryu and me to be able to share the joy with our closest friends. Of course I would like to introduce everybody because I know some people don't know each other. You all know my sweetheart Ryu and of course my father and mother next to him. We also have Helena who is my personal designer and a wonderful friend. Kane who is our wonderful family doctor and has saved my father's life for which I owe him my own life for. Next to him a man that saved my life today, Teddy, a detective with the Boston Police who also saves lives every day. Kokoro who has made this wonderful cake you all see here and creates masterpieces every day in her delicious shop. Kasumi who is Ryu's childhood friend who has also become my dear friend in the past few months and also created this beautiful ring on my hand. On the other side we also have Ken, who just recently became our family lawyer and has been great help to my father. My two best friends Scott and Andie and lastly but surely not least we have Ayane who is actually the new editor in chief of the best news and fashion magazine in Boston and we appreciate the kind words she has been saying about us in the press. So thank you all for joining us here tonight and enjoy" Kate smiled as everybody clapped.

Are you kidding me Kasumi thought Ayane is editor in chief? What the hell is going on? A thousand thoughts were running through her mind but she kept a smile of her face. She noticed Ryu looking down and not really eating his food as Kate laughed with her parents and Ayane. Kasumi glanced over at Helena and Kokoro and they were both just as confused seeing Ayane there. Kokoro seemed tense with Ken there across the table but she relaxed when Teddy took her hand into his. He looked at her and smiled and she sighed and smiled back.

Dinner was over and everybody had stood up and was walking around the pent house enjoying the cake Kokoro had made. Kokoro herself was looking out the window and staring at the increasingly bad weather. It had begun to hail and it was not slowing down with thunder rolling in.

"Hey" Teddy said, "You okay?"

"Yeah fine, no worries. Are you okay? Does your wound hurt?" she asked taking the glass of wine he handed her.

"Yeah, yeah I told you I am fine it was just a flesh wound, I will be fine" he smiled.

"Kokoro" Kate walked over to them, "I just wanted to thank you for this delicious cake".

"Oh it's no problem" Kokoro said.

"And I wanted you to see Miyako, who is a wonderful wedding planner that I just hired to do our wedding" she said smiling as Ryu who was by her side.

Kokoro froze, unable to move.

"Hello sweetheart" her mom said.

"Hello mother" Kokoro said.

"Well this is great, mother and daughter working together. Miyako is going to take care of the planning and Kokoro is going to take care of the flowers and cake. What a dream team!" Kate said excitedly.

"Yeah, great" Kokoro said, "Will you excuse me?"

Kokoro walked away as they kept talking, this night just keeps getting worse. What the hell is my mother doing here? And Ken, ugh he won't go away. Oh my God, this is all Ayane's doing; you and teddy will never work. That note was from her.

"Hey Kokoro, are you alright?" Kasumi asked her.

"Yeah fine no worries"

"Okay well I think I am going to go, I am tired and I have a lot of work tomorrow to get done" Kasumi said.

"Okay I will probably be there is a few minutes" Kokoro said.

Kasumi made her way to the door and Ryu saw she was leaving and walked over to the door. He followed her outside and closed the door behind him.

"Hey" he said looking at her, God how he missed her.

"Hi, what are you doing out here?" she asked.

"Just wanted to ask you how you are doing, with the whole Adam thing?" he asked.

"Thanks for asking, I am doing fine" she smiled.

"I am sorry" he simply said.

"For what?" she turned and faced him.

"I feel like I failed a promise I made to protect you and take care of you" he said looking at the floor.

"Hey" she said approaching him and touching his cheek, "I am not little anymore; you kept your promise for as long as you needed to. Things just went a different that we expected".

They held their gaze for a bit then Ryu said,

"I know but I just…"

"What?" she asked.

"Nothing, do you need a ride home or anything?" he asked.

"Actually I do, I came with Helena and Kane and I don't want to take her car" she said.

"Okay no problem, let me just grab my keys" he said going back into the apartment.

A few minutes later he was back and they left to get his car downstairs.

Back inside Kokoro looked around and noticed that the only people now left where Ayane, Ken, her mother, Kate, and Teddy. Helena had just left with Kane and was going back to his place. She gathered her things and was going to Teddy to tell him to leave.

"Kokoro" he mother approached her.

"What mother?" Kokoro asked swiftly.

"How have you been?" she asked.

"That is what you are going to say to me? And since when do you plan weddings for royalty?" Kokoro said sarcastically stopping to look at her.

"Why do you have such anger towards me?" her mother asked.

"I can't even get into this argument with you. I am leaving" Kokoro said.

"You know I am right" she said.

"Right about what?" Kokoro stopped in her tracks.

"About how you are going to end up with" her mother said.

"Let me guess, that would be Ken, right?"


"Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are wrong mother and one more thing, have planning Kate's wedding because you will never plan my wedding especially your imaginary wedding with Ken and me" Kokoro said before she left.

"Kate, thank you so much for this great dinner" Kokoro said smiling when she reached her.

"Oh of course, I was happy you could come" Kate said.

"Yes and now I must go but I will see you soon" Kokoro said.

"Yes most definitely" Kate said hugging her.

Kokoro went to Teddy and they both left the party. Teddy was driving home with Kokoro in the passenger's seat.

"I cannot believe my mother" she shouted a bit, "You know what she told me?"

Kokoro did not wait for his response,

"She told me that I am going to end up with Ken, I mean who says that kind of stuff" Kokoro said leaning her head back in the head rest.

"Okay we are here" he said.

"Where is here?" she asked looking around unfamiliar garage.

"My apartment" he answered.

"Why are we here?" she said.

"Well if you had taken a breath while yelling about your mother, you would have seen that the road is blocked to your apartment because of the weather so here we are" he smiled as they got into the elevator.

"Very funny" she smiled a little.

They went up to the fifth floor and he opened the door to his apartment and Kokoro held her breath not knowing what to expect. She let out a huge breath when she walked in. There was a warm smell of his cologne in the air and a huge book shelf right when you came into the apartment. A TV in the living room along with some black couches with the kitchen of to the left fully equipped with cream white cabinets and granite top. It was very neat with artwork and pictures hung around the walls.

"This is very nice" Kokoro said with a big smile.

"Really? I thought you would consider it small compared to your huge pent house" he laughed a little taking off his jacket.

She laughed out loud,

"No that is more Helena than me" she said.

"Are you sure because your mother is sure you are going to end up with a very successful lawyer" he teased her.

"Yeah, yeah funny" she said.

He took off his gun and badge and placed them on the kitchen counter.

"Alright, you can have my bed and I will take the couch" he said.

"No, don't worry I can take the couch" she said taking her heels off.

"No absolutely not" he said, "Come on" he took her by the hand and led her to the bedroom. It looked so cozy; she just wanted to jump into bed.

"Here" he said taking out a black tee shirt and shorts, "I know these are going to be huge on you but it's better than sleeping in your dress".

"Thank you" she said.

He tugged at his tie and she saw him struggling.

"Here" Kokoro said, "I will get it".

She approached him and reached up to fix his tie, she struggled a bit and then finally it was coming loose. When she had fixed it completely, the tie was just resting around Teddy's neck, she just rested her hands on his chest and he let out a small short breath. He looked down and met her gaze and after a couple of minutes, she cleared her throat and removed her hands.

"Well I guess I should - " she could not finish because Teddy gently took her by the waist and his lips met hers. At first the kiss was gentle but then it became passion and longing. She ran her hands though his dark hair and tugged at it a bit. He responded by slowly unzipping her dress. When her dress dropped and revealed her black and white bra and panty, she unbuttoned his black dress up shirt and when she dropped it to the ground; she noticed his perfectly sculpted body. His arm muscles and abs were incredible, he was not kidding when he said he goes to the gym every day she thought. Soon her thoughts were distracted by his gentle, swift movement of picking her up and laying her down on the bed and he kissed her lips and traveled down to her neck and she felt her body on fire.

Thunder kept rolling outside and Teddy's gentle touch made Kokoro melt into the sheets. It was the best night Kokoro had had in a very long time.


On the Other Side of Town

"Do you want to come up for a few minutes?" Kasumi asked Ryu.

"Sure, let me just park the car" he said.

A few minutes later Ryu come into the apartment,

"Hey" he said.

"Do you want a glass of wine?"

"Sure" he said as Kasumi poured white wine into a glass and handed it to him and she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.

"This weather is getting out of hand" Kasumi said looking outside as large pieces hit the glass pane. She turned on the TV in the kitchen and the news announced that many roads were blocked and people were advised to stay indoors and not travel.

"You are welcome to stay here" Kasumi said, "It seems nobody else is coming back. Helena is with Kane and Kokoro is with Teddy and Hitomi is with…. With Hayate" she finished.

"Do you not like the fact that they are dating?" he asked.

"I don't know, I am happy that Hitomi seems really happy but I don't trust him and especially Ayane and now that she is here and even more part of our life, it seems a bit sketchy" she said going into her room to get covers for Ryu.

"I understand, and since when was she a writer?" he asked.

"Exactly" she said setting up the couch, "I wish she would just go away for good. It was so nice when it was just us four without all this drama".

"Yeah" he nodded.

"Okay so I will be in my room if you need anything" she said, "Goodnight".

"Night" he said.


Ryu woke up and looked at the clock; it was 3:30am. He sat up listening and heard Kasumi shouting in here room.

"No go away, Leave me alone"

He rushed to her room and when he opened the door he noticed she was having a bad dream. He gently woke her up and she looked confused so he comforted her,

"Hey, hey it was just a dream" he said hugging her.

She did not say anything, she just hugged him back.

"Can you stay" she whispered.

"Yeah" he said going under the covers and hugging her until she fell asleep and then he drifted to sleep as well.


Kokoro woke up in the morning wearing a huge smile but felt the bed empty. She opened her eyes and saw a note with a lily and tea. The note hand written said: "Good morning beautiful, I am sorry I was called into work, I will call you later. Love, Teddy" She took a whiff of her favorite flower and drank the tea as she got ready. She took the tee shirt Teddy had given her last night, which she never ended up wearing. She took a cab back to her apartment and got ready for work. When she walked by Kasumi's room and noticed Ryu she did not say anything. I will certainly ask her about that later she thought.

An hour later Kokoro pulled up to her shop and headed inside to get started on work. A few hours into work one of her employees came to the back room where she was decorating a couple of cupcakes.

"Hey Kokoro, somebody is asking for you" she said.

"Did they say what they wanted?" Kokoro asked.

"Nope, she just wants to discuss an order".

"Okay I will be right there" Kokoro said.

When Kokoro came out of the back room she noticed Ayane looking into the glass display with cupcakes.

"Can I help you?" Kokoro asked.

"Yes, can I please get a chocolate cupcake" Ayane said.

"Is that all?" Kokoro asked putting a chocolate cupcake into a box.

"Yes that is all" Ayane said looking at her.

She handed her the money and Kokoro handed her back the change. Ayane turned around to leave but she turned around.

"Oh I almost forgot, you know how your mother told you that in the end you are going to end up with Ken?" Ayane asked.

"How did you…" Kokoro said but Ayane continued.

"Well she was right, because you are going to accept the offer Ken made of taking you out on a date" Ayane said.

"Really? I am? Why is that?" Kokoro asked defensively.

"It's quite simple darling, if you don't go out with him and became an item then you're the Boston Police force is going to be short one detective" she smiled.

"I am sorry what?" Kokoro said unable to say anything else.

"You heard me, oh and since you love your little girl band you live with this is in their best interest as well especially Kasumi. I will continue since you seem like you don't have anything to say. You heard that I am editor in chief and you know the power of the press and a secret such as a love child will make Kasumi the hot topic of the season" Ayane said taking a bite of her cupcake.

"You are pure evil" Kokoro said.

"That may be true but I get what I want. Oh and you are not to repeat this to anybody. And please do what I say; it would be sad to see such a sexy man as Teddy join Adam's fate. Bye now" Ayane said before she left.

Kokoro stood there unable to move.


Hope you liked this chapter. I am trying to expand the other characters a bit as well so be patient. Let me know what you think should happen to any of the characters. Thanks and remember to review. :)